I was very recently alarmed by the drug combination given to one of my patients. He was prescribed simvastatin, aspirin and clopidogrel ( also known as Plavix). I am not at liberty to discuss his case other than to say that he nicked his skin whilst shaving and it took a long time to stop the bleeding. Two of the above drugs are major blood thinners. When I take a patient's case, I need to know the drugs that they have been prescribed by their GP/Consultant. I have access to a BNF ( British National Formulary, used by all medical staff, who routinely prescribe drugs) and this is very helpful as some symptoms that patients describe to me are drug symptoms and not real symptoms of their disease.
My patient's drug combination niggled at me (I am not allowed to intefere with his prescribed medication, as this has to be done through his GP), however, the drug combination was bothering me to such an extent, that I decided to study some Journals this morning that this particular patient had previously given me. He'd given me a number of back issues of WDDTY - What Doctors Don't Tell You, which are now, thankfully, available to buy in large Newsagents. These were all last years Journals, but for some bizarre reason, the very first one that I opened, sent a chill down my spine. This particular Journal is dated 6 April 2012 and I found myself on page 6 - Drug News. The article reads as follows:-
ROUTINE DRUG COMBINATION IS A KILLER
"Routine treatment for people who've suffered a stroke is aspirin with Plavix (clopidogrel) to stop further blood clots - but the drug combination is deadly.
The two agents increase the risk of bleeding and death, a major safety trial has discovered. So great is the risk that the trial has been abandoned, and doctors are being told to stop prescribing the drug combination. ( Hummm that's strange, it's obviously not made it across the pond!).
The trial, which began in 2003, monitored the health of 3020 patients given eithern aspirin and Plavix or aspirin and a placebo. It was stopped prematurely in August 2011 when researchers discovered the high risk ( no doubt they had a lost a few patients on the way!) the drug combination posed."
The above information was presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, 1-3 February 2012, New Orleans,LA.
I have sent my patient a copy of the article and asked him to contact his GP immediately. To anyone reading this article, if you do know of anyone taking this prescribed drug combination, please ask them to contact their GP and refer them to the above article. I wonder how many more poor people in this country have been prescribed this drug combination and, sadly, may have died prematurely as a result!
I should like to extend my thanks to WDDTY for publishing the article.